Après une présentation des principes physiques généraux, les procédures mises en œuvre aussi bien sur le terrain qu’en laboratoire sont abordées, à partir de l’exemple des analyses réalisées sur des alluvions sableuses issues d’une basse terrasse de la Moselle.

La place des datations OSL dans la recherche géomorphologique en France et son potentiel pour les recherches futures sont décrits à travers une présentation de la diversité des environnements sédimentaires et des problématiques pouvant être traités.

The wavelength of the signal is allocated to the nature of the mineral: the OSL from quartz is typically measured in ultra-violet (340-370 nm wavelength), while quartz also emits in blue (460-500 nm wavelength) and in orange-red (600-650 nm wavelength; Huntley , when the mineral is stored within the host-rock), natural radiation generates the trapping of electrons and the build-up of a latent luminescence signal; ii) when a grain is produced by mechanical erosion and transported (at the Earth’s surface, in the air, or in a river), it is exposed to sunlight.

This results in the release of trapped electrons (“bleaching”) and the emission of the luminescence signal.

Much later the grain is sampled in the field and stimulated in the laboratory using either visible light for quartz (OSL As shown in fig.

2, the luminescence signal obtained by stimulation corresponds with a decay curve which shows the progressive emptying of the electrons from the traps.

Hence it underlines the increasing importance of the method to geomorphological research, especially by contributing to the development of quantitative geomorphology.

L’objectif de cet article est de proposer une présentation d’ensemble des méthodes de datations par luminescence stimulée optiquement (OSL) et de leurs applications dans le champ des recherches en géomorphologie.A case study of fluvial sands from the lower terrace of the Moselle valley is then presented to describe the range of field and laboratory procedures required for successful luminescence dating.The paper also reviews the place of OSL dating in geomorphological research in France and assesses its potential for further research, by focusing on the diversity of sedimentary environments and topics to which it can be usefully applied.The general principles of the method are described first.The paper then explains how OSL dating is applied to obtain a depositional age, through the field and laboratory procedures employed.Feldspars have the specificity of being sensitive both to short and to near-infrared or infrared wavelength (800-950 nm; Bøtter-Jensen ., 1994); iv) the sensitivity of the trap to light.